Love handles. The Wheat Belly Roll. Always thinking I could outsmart my other “brain,” by lifting heavy and often. It’s not so simple. “It” has been with me for a long time, like a nagging reminder that there is work to be done. Only this time, in a smarter fashion.
Circle the clock back 28 years to my first semester at Wisconsin-Madison. I checked in at a scrappy 5’10” – 152. That would change, quickly. Newfound freedoms also brought on newfound responsibilities, including the choice of being able to eat whatever I wanted. Those first four months in Madtown got the best of me. Endless beer drinking, usually followed by binge eating at some of the finer fast food establishments like Pizza Pit pizza, Famous Franks cheddar dogs and cheddar fries, “Belcher” burritos, Zorba’s gyros..and more fries. The list goes on. Throw in some poor food choices at University cafeteria and a late evening bowl of Babcock Hall’s finest ice cream. Top that off with endless supplies of free Lowenbrau shorties (7oz), courtesy my dorm-mate, and I had formed the blueprint for reeking havoc on my body. “Freshman 15,” became my reality – I weighed 167lbs once Christmas arrived that year and the weight never came off.
In an attempt to rectify the situation, I spent endless hours in the gym. Benching, squatting, using those silly “leg extension” and hamstring curl machines (please forgive me). Let’s not forget the concentration curls in front of the mirror! Vanity at its finest. Months turned to years, and the weight gradually went up. Working in an office/cubicle didn’t help. I’d wake up to sit in a car, to go sit at my desk at work, only to sit on the bus back home, so that I could “relax,” at home..by sitting down. Don’t get me wrong, I stayed active at 24hr Fitness. This went on for 24 more years until a little after my third..and FINAL, son was born. Time was now an even greater and precious commodity. “Q” was born one day after my 40th birthday. I quickly did the math..when I was 80, he would be 40. I wanted to give myself the best chance at making that happen, to enjoy as many days on this planet with my little men. More importantly, I wanted to be able to “compete” with them for as long as I could..and I’m hoping that will be for many years to come.
The perfect tool (for me) appeared before me eyes – the kettlebell. It lends itself very well to a busy family life. The ability to take it anywhere is one of its magical qualities. Some of my fondest memories are swinging amoungst the redwoods, on the sandy beaches of Monterey Bay, in my backyard with hummingbirds darting about, and at 9K elevation in Tuolumne Meadows (Yosemite) for a fabulous pressing session. This would be the ticket for longevity.
Double kettlebells have now become the preference. Twice the weight, twice the results, in half the time. Probably not a very scientific explanation, but that is how if feels to me right now. This is also somewhat of a recent development. While I was tasked with double 24’s for my tests at RKC-Chicago, I never attempted a program implementing two bells. My first stab at it was Patrick Flynn’s – Prometheus Protocol. The more I read about Patrick’s own transformation, the more I liked him and it gave me hope that I could make a similar transformation. Not only that, but I had access to a great group of people at SOL Performance. People to share my passion with and finally a routine that started to chisel away at the excess.
I’m not sure how we stumbled upon Geoff Neupert’s Kettlebell Muscle. I think a big part was a brief meeting I had with Oakland’s own Iron Maiden, Asha Wagner. She was three weeks into Kettlebell Muscle and was raving about it.Her NS6 logo struck a chord with me. I loved all the reasons why she created this logo, right down to the California star. I was born on the 6th, so that number is forever mine. Learning, growth, and improvement will forever be the philosophy moving forward. This is RKC Karma at it’s finest. So Kettlebell Muscle it is..for the next 12 weeks. I now weigh in at 178lbs – down 17 lbs from my all-time high. To be continued….